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Old March 27, 2020, 08:13 PM   #1
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Pietta 1851 .44 brasser

Just got a 1851 .44 brasser for free. Long story. Anyway I have may 1860 steel frame with the 5in octagon sheriff bbl. and navy grip. That is my keeper bp gun. So I’m thinking about maybe doing some barrel cutting and make a snub out of it. Or maybe get a sheriff bbl. Or just leave it as is. Oh I forgot, it’s new in the box still in plastic with a date code of 2014. Not a bad looking gun I just don’t like those l.o.n.g bbls. Thanks.
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Old March 28, 2020, 09:07 AM   #2
44 Dave
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New in box, I would sell it and buy a used something to cut up.
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Old March 28, 2020, 02:22 PM   #3
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I would leave it as it is.

Actually, knowing that the brass frames tend to stretch, unless you only plan to use it as a wall hanger I think I'd sell it. It's not like you'd have to take a loss ...
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Old March 28, 2020, 07:47 PM   #4
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Couldn’t stand it had to shoot it. .454 ball, wad and Pyrodex pellets 30 grain equivalent.
Gun was very accurate at 20 yards somewhat more accurate than my 5inch 1860!
Think I’ll keep it. The guys come over sometimes and we shoot for dollar bills. They have higher end bp guns and it will be nice for them to loose to a brasser.
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Old March 28, 2020, 07:49 PM   #5
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Actually, knowing that the brass frames tend to stretch
It's not so much stretching as it is battering. When too heavy loads are used it imprints the cylinder ratchet into the recoil shield thus giving the cylinder more end play. The more end play it has the more room for the cylinder to get more momentum before it hits. The more momentum it gets the deeper the imprint until eventually it ceases to function.
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Old March 28, 2020, 08:24 PM   #6
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A 30gr equivalent Pyrodex pellet will ruin that brasser very quickly. I never exceed 20grs FFFg real BP in a brasser. Some makes have a thicker recoil ring on the shield and hold up longer but you will soon have a paperweight if you keep shooting that heavy of a load. Compare the cylinder gap on the brasser vs the '60 Army. The brasser will continue to get wider til much of your powder blast will be exiting the cylinder gap. If your '60 Army is also a Pietta there's a chance the steel barrel and cylinder plus internals will interchange.
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Old March 28, 2020, 09:15 PM   #7
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Sometimes the cylinder arbor will pull out of the frame on Colt style revolvers.
The frame on the left is new. The one on the right is battered and the arbor has pulled out.

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Old March 28, 2020, 10:54 PM   #8
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Hawg,
Note the difference in thickness/width of the raised part of the recoil shield. The one on the right started out pretty thin/narrow but got flattened by the cylinder hammering it. I would expect the left one to last a bit longer under similar circumstances.
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Old March 29, 2020, 01:25 AM   #9
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Hawg,
Note the difference in thickness/width of the raised part of the recoil shield. The one on the right started out pretty thin/narrow but got flattened by the cylinder hammering it. I would expect the left one to last a bit longer under similar circumstances.
It wouldn't make a spits worth of difference in the end. It's still a raised ring. This is a .36 caliber 58 Remington owned by me. It has no raised ring. The imprint of the cylinder ratchet was cause by 25 grain loads.

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Old March 30, 2020, 07:39 PM   #10
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I agree that load will stretch the frame. This is simply a range toy that will see 20 rounds or so every 2 or 3 months. Yes the parts will fit my 1860. So when she starts to get loose it will be a parts gun or a wall hanger. I just never had one that out of the box drop in a pellet and be dead on without working up a load. For fun I’m going to run the brasser cylinder and bbl on the 1860 and see what kind of group I get
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Old April 2, 2020, 11:34 PM   #11
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Other folks have had success tightening arbors. I have not. Tried everything I could think of and never was able to repair an arbor reliably.

Most failed during the loading of the pistol. I have always believed that far more force is placed on the arbor to frame joint during loading than firing.

It has been a long time since last shooting a BP revolver. But I can't remember using much more than 20 grains in a .44 brass frame.
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Old May 3, 2020, 03:08 PM   #12
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I bought the same revolver as my first foray into BP a few years ago. I have never had an interest until I saw one dirt cheap on Armslist. That one Armslist add was the bug that bit me. I read up and saw that brass frames could be a problem, so I passed on the used one and found a brass frame .44 “Navy” on sale for $150 at cabelas. I originally bought it as a wall hanger that I would occasionally shoot, but fell in love with BP shooting. I’ve several hundred rounds through it now. 20 gns of 3f, with the occasional cylinder of 25 gn loads, works for me. At least on my revolver this leaves no deformation of the recoil shield, and both loads are accurate but the 25 gn charge is most accurate (I don’t use a wad or filler is probably why).

It’s a cheap enough gun. Do what you want with it I say. I’m actually a fan of the 8” barrel but to each their own. I wouldn’t think twice about cutting the barrel if that’s what you want. It’s literally the cheapest C&B pistol there is you’re out almost nothing. Im looking at getting a Dragoon repro when I get back to the states so I can launch some real C&B loads.
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